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ThinkPad A485 and FreeBSD

Introduction

I’ve always thought diversity is an important thing, which is why Linux’ hegemony on servers, as great as it is, can also be a threat for future network stability.

Most people having something to do with computers have probably come across the BSD term at one point or another, yet not everyone is aware of OpenBSD and FreeBSD being reasonable alternative Operating Systems with their own strengths.

Since my previous laptop was way too fragile to be a mobile computer any longer, I had to relegate it to a virtualisation server and start the hunt for a powerful, mobile and flexible laptop.

Easier said than done, after much researching I settled in May 2019 for a ThinkPad A485 as being the closest thing to a good trade-off for me. Amongst other things it features an AMD Ryzen™ processor and 32G RAM.

There is a great article covering support for this laptop on OpenBSD.

Since it’s not the case for FreeBSD and, at that point, support for this laptop was not ideal, this is intended as some kind of documentation that will hopefully help other people in the near future, that is in the transition to full support.

The wish to document this started when someone asked on the freebsd-current Mailing List about getting the A485 to work with FreeBSD.

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AcCoreConsole: Simple plugin for workload simulation

Introduction

Following up on my previous post, I’ll introduce a small AutoCAD .Net plugin that can run on the AcCoreConsole.

This could work as a hands-on, quick and dirty tutorial to writing .Net plugins for AutoCAD, I recommend reading the official documentation though. If you are already comfortable writing .Net plugins for AutoCAD, you can skip to the Customising execution (Command Line Arguments) section.

The idea of this plugin is to perform a computation that takes a while and exit; nothing fancy.

The reason for this, is to test my implementation of something similar to AutocadIO that runs locally and in a much smaller scale; the main motivation for that is that many companies are not (yet) ready to handle over their files to Autodesk and having the files processed in their amazing cloud.

At some point, my implementation should provide for an easy way to choose between using all local resources and sending jobs to AutocadIO; that would give maximum flexibility to both users and developers as well, all while giving end-users (companies) a peek into the potential of massively parallel running processes.

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AutoCAD, .Net and Cloud technologies

Introduction

It has been quite a while since I last updated this blog and in between a lot has changed personally, professionally and in technology. For instance: German is now the language I speak the most and it has taken its toll on my English, I apologise for that in advance.

Another thing that has changed is my preference of technology when it comes to AutoCAD automation: back when I wrote this post it was Lisp, nowadays I use mostly .Net plugins.

The downside [of Lisp, back in 2013 my go-to AutoCAD automation tech] is that it’s quite a mess to have a GUI for the scripts or routines you develop. I mean, sure, it can be done (there’s DCL after all) but it’s not as flexible or easy as one would hope. Luckily, for most use cases a simple custom toolbar and text input will make users happy.

Turns out, all those issues with GUI development along with some caveats with batch scripting (on hundreds and thousands of DWG files) made Lisp more of a burden than a blessing.

Also, AcCoreConsole happened and Autodesk has been investing in cloud technologies heavily, so AutocadIO and View and Data APIs will be coming strong.

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